Craigy T starts his Ting

BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Observer senior reporter
johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

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CRAIGY T — a member of disbanded dancehall quartet, TOK — releases the first single from his upcoming album today.

The song, Issa Jamaican Ting, according to the artiste, is the perfect introductory single to his new work.

The album titled 1, is set to drop on November 29 and will be released on Therapist Music and Craigy T's own label Gafjam.

“This project is something I did with DJ Buddha, a producer out of Orlando. We were talking and we realised that there was a void in the market for that authentic reggae-roots sound, so we decided that we were going to fill it. The album title 1 represents new beginnings, new, frontiers, rebirth, origin and all of those things. Mostly produced by DJ Buddha, but there are also tracks produced by me. there is also work by Notis and there is a track that we did in collaboration with Sly Dunbar,” he told the Jamaica Observer.

Blessed with a strong tenor voice, Craigy T has created a hybrid of both singing and deejaying for this project.

“The flavour is very different. This is where I find my comfort zone...so it's a kind of mixture of singing and deejaying — it's hard to explain. It's deejaying, but deejaying with a lot of melody, and it is smoother than you would normally expect from me; but there are a couple tracks that are almost ballads. I expect that my audience will walk away feeling refreshed, like this is a sound that they have not heard in a while. it's an old-time sound with a fresh spin, so I hope they will get that feeling and vibe. It's something that is coming from me and the depths of my soul, so I want them to feel more connected to me as an artiste,” he said.

Among the tracks which will appear on the album is a remake of the Black Uhuru classic, Plastic Smile.

“I decided to remake Plastic Smile at a time when a lot of things were happening — the whole Edna Manley College scandal — and I wanted to say something about it because I never had any personal experience with anything like that while I was at Edna. But at the same time I did feel away because these are the people who we are entrusting with our children for guidance, so it felt like more than just a violation, it felt like a betrayal of trust to me — and I wanted to speak about that. I also know that it happens in the churches a lot... the people who have as our spiritual leaders especially that specific case where a pastor had two sisters pregnant at the same time, that was the catalyst behind this song, as I was particularly disgusted by that,” he said.

TOK announced their split in 2015 after more than two decades. The group which brought the boy band concept to dancehall, comprised Roshaun “Bay C “ Clarke, Alistaire “Alex” McCalla, Xavier “Flexx” Davidson and Craig “Craigy T” Thompson.

Craigy T said working on this project without his former bandmates was different.

“What I like about it is the freedom. I can do whatever I want; I have creative freedom and so I can choose the direction of every project that I what I like the most. The only thing is that whereas on stage I could take time to do my own thing while someone else is working, you really can't do that any more — that is the only thing that I see as a downside of being a solo act. But I am much stronger now vocally because of that added work on the stage. that is a plus for me,” he added.


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